Choosing the right college or university is a momentous task for students at both undergraduate and graduate levels. This is particularly true in the United States, where there are hundreds of schools to choose from in a boundless geographic area. Many considerations influence the choice; including cost, financial aid, location, and programme prestige. Whichever of these factors drives your selection, there are a number of websites that can help you make an informed decision before setting off to study in the U.S. Here at EDUopinions, we have done some work to help make this process a little easier. EDUopinions is an online platform that collects opinions from students about the universities where they have studied or are studying now. We also provide helpful content for students to help them with topics such as study tips for finals, time management, and even life after graduating, among many others.
The U.S. Department of Education’s database of statistics on American colleges and universities includes information on both “inputs,” like average student GPA and SAT scores, and “outputs,” like average alumni salaries. Each school has its own page with an easy to understand overview of key information. Prospective students can then view detailed data broken into seven categories: cost, financial aid and debt, graduation and retention, earnings after school, student body, SAT/ACT scores and academic programmes.
One of the key benefits of this resource is not only the wealth of information it provides but the way it is presented and the type of data it includes. For students particularly concerned with financing their education, the site is a great place to conduct a cost-benefit analysis for each of your higher education options. Resources on how to obtain federal financial aid are also available, and students can easily compare universities.
U.S. News is one of the best-known resources for gathering general information on American colleges and universities. Most notably, their yearly rankings of schools and individual programmes provide a nice overview for those looking for a prestigious place to earn their degree.
Beyond that, students can search individuals schools and programmes to find key information on student outcomes, class size, student to faculty ratios, financial resources, and student excellence (standardised test scores, GPA, high school standings, etc.). While each page is highly descriptive, and prospective students can get a holistic picture of each school of interest, users must pay to access some of the more detailed information.
Forbes’ Top Colleges list is self-described as a tool for researching the “outputs” of higher education, placing an emphasis on what happens to students after graduating from their respective schools as opposed to how they got there. It allows students to look at school ranks by region and more generally by viewing a top 25 list. It has helpful infographics that show how long it will take students to earn back the cost of their degree, and even includes information on the number of prize-winning alumni that graduated from each university.
Though each school’s page also includes general information on tuition, demographics, and enrollment, it is better used as a tool to preview post-graduate life, with a focus on finance and future success.
EDUopinions Comparison Tool
Last but not least, EDUopinions is another great resource for those trying to decide which U.S. school to make their alma mater. In addition to student reviews – which give an inside look at individual experiences – students can compare schools with the simple click of a button.
Not only does the comparison tool allow you to look at the best and worst reviews for each university, but it also allows you to compare real student feedback on more specific factors like faculty, location, and student life. If you’ve honed in on a few possible schools, this is the perfect way to get a little real-life perspective before making your selection.
You can help EDUopinions aid future students in making the right choice of which college or university to attend by leaving a review on your school’s page. We’d love to hear about your experience!
Deciding which college or university is right for you is a big decision, and there are many ways to find the data you need to make an informed choice. While all of the websites described are helpful in their own way, when used in conjunction they offer a more complete picture of each institute of higher education.
- The U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard is a great place to find information on financial aid and student outcomes.
- U.S. News and World Report’s College Rankings is a great resource for a comprehensive picture of each college or university in question and provides further insight into the prestige of programmes.
- Forbes’ List of America’s Top Colleges is another ranking system but is more focused on student outcomes post-graduation and the time it will take graduates to recoup the cost of attending.
- EDUopinions provides real-life opinions on institutes of higher education, and pairs perfectly with the other websites as you search for a holistic picture of each college or university.
Did you find this article helpful? Please let us know by leaving a comment. If you attended a university in the U.S., please share your story at EDUopinions.com.